We all love surfing. We all chase that feeling of scoring perfect waves with just a few friends out in the lineup. That feeling of being blissfully sunkissed and exhausted, arms dangling like noodles after spending all day in the water. You know the feeling. But beyond our personal obsession with riding waves, us surfers also feel pretty closely connected to some incredible marine and coastal ecosystems–which we all care about protecting, but we don't always know how. So for Earth Day this year, Marissa Miller has shared a few simple tips for surfers to start taking better care of our planet and the places we love. Take it away, Marissa!
Care for your local: Head down to your local beach with some friends to take care of your favorite local surf break. Whether it's cleaning up the beach or parking lot, caring for the native vegetation, or putting up signage to encourage others to do the same. You could also get involved in more long-term conservation or restoration efforts by seeing if there are any opportunities to volunteer with any local environmental organizations in your area. Just a little bit of help goes a long way.
Choose good gear: When you buy gear, try to support brands that are working towards more eco-friendly materials and durable products. No brand or product is perfectly "sustainable", but by supporting brands that are heading in the right direction, you're also supporting further development of the creative and innovative solutions that lead to better and better gear each year.
Swap and share: When you get tired of the gear you have, think about doing a gear swap with friends! Say you've been eyeing out that old board in your friend's garage that they never use–you could see if they want to let you ride it, or trade with you for one of your boards. Swapping and sharing gear means you buy less gear AND get to try out different stuff. It's good for the planet and fun for you too.
Fix it up and make it last: When you do buy gear, take good care of it and see how long you can make it last. The more use you can get out of a single product, the less often you'll have to buy new gear–which saves the planet AND your wallet. And when things just unavoidably break, you can learn how to fix your own surfboard dings, patch rips in your jeans, or stitch up a seam on that old t-shirt of yours. Lastly, when an item has been well-loved and is ready to be retired, find creative ways to give it a new life by repurposing it into something new, or taking it into an appropriate recycling program.
Travel consciously: When you're chasing that next swell across the globe, or even just surfing at your local break, think about how you can travel more consciously. This will mean something different to everyone, and it depends what options are available to you. Maybe it means walking, biking, or carpooling instead of driving to the beach. Or maybe it means staying at eco-friendly lodging at your next surf destination. Whatever it is, every choice makes a difference that adds up in the long run.
Stay connected & keep learning: It's not about being perfect, it's just about doing what you can with what you have, and always being open to learning and improving. It's not up to you as an individual to solve the world's environmental problems, but it sure is empowering to be part of the solutions and to make a positive difference, even if it's small. And find a group of friends that will work on making positive change with you, because it's always more fun to do things together.